Vincent set to return to the course

The Herald

LEADING Zimbabwean professional golfer Scott Vincent will return to the course at this week’s PIF Saudi International powered by Softbank Investments Advisers at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

Vincent finished his maiden Asian Tour International Series on a high note after he finished as the tournament’s highest-placed player on the order of merit standings and is expected to start from where he left off last season.

The Zimbabwean finished at the top of the Asian Tour International Series Order of Merit standings and third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

A former St George’s College student, Vincent closed the season by finishing tied for position 10 in the US$1.5 million BNI Indonesian Masters in his last tournament to consolidate his pole position.

Winning two titles last season and making his major debut at the Open Championship after he made his presence felt in each tournament he took part in, the 30-year-old will feature in his opening tournament of 2023 this week.

Vincent went into the Indonesian Masters holding the top spot on the International Series Order of Merit ahead of American Siwhan Kim last year and mantained his status.

The Saudi International was established in 2019 as an event on the European Tour and in 2022, it became the flagship event on the Asian Tour with a new title sponsor, the public Investment Fund (PIF), a Saudi government sovereign wealth fund.

This week’s PIF Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers will have a very distinctive LIV Golf look.

The entry list for the 2023 Asian Tour’s season opener includes all 48 players who participated in last year’s Miami Team Championship, the final event of LIV Golf’s inaugural 2022 season.

In addition, Bubba Watson is expected to return to action following knee surgery. Watson was a non-playing captain after he joined LIV Golf in the middle of last season.

Several other players who appeared in at least one LIV Golf event in 2022 also will be in the field. Nearly half of the 126-man field will have ties to LIV Golf.

The PIF Saudi International became the flagship event of the Asian Tour last year and will be played for the fifth consecutive year at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, which also hosted LIV Golf Jeddah last October. Smash GC captain Brooks Koepka won the individual portion of that event, beating teammate Peter Uihlein in a playoff.

Each of the previous winners of the PIF Saudi International are also in the field – Dustin Johnson (2019, 2021), Graeme McDowell (2020) and defending champion Harold Varner III (2022), who last year beat Watson with a dramatic 92-foot eagle putt on the final hole. All three are LIV Golf members.

Other notables playing at Royal Greens include Miami team captains Cameron Smith, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter and Kevin Na.

LIV Golf supports the Asian Tour through the International Series, elevated events that provide additional playing opportunities for LIV members as well as a pathway for other golfers to play LIV events. By winning last year’s International Series Order of Merit winner, Zimbabwe’s Vincent gained playing privileges for the upcoming 2023 LIV Golf season.

This year’s International Series will include 10 events, starting with International Series Oman on February 9-12. Each event will include a prize purse of at least US$2 million.

Two weeks later, LIV Golf Mayakoba will be held February 24-26 at El Camaleon Golf Course in Mexico. – Sports Reporter/

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